Chiropractic Moves, Manipulations, & Adjustments for Sciatic Nerve Pain
February 19, 2021
By Chiro One Wellness Centers
Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, natural, and effective option for treating the pain and symptoms associated with sciatic nerve issues. Sciatica is a fairly common condition caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve that can be painful, debilitating, and interfere with your ability to walk, stand, sit, and/or sleep. Depending on the level of severity, something as simple as bending at the waist or standing up can feel impossible, which adds frustration and vulnerability to the entire situation. Common symptoms of sciatica include:
- Pain that can range from a mild throbbing to sharp, intense ‘pins and needles’ that radiates down your leg.
- Deep pain in the lower back, buttocks, hip, or lower extremities.
- Pain in the back of the leg that worsens when sitting for extended periods of time.
- A shooting pain in the low back that makes it hard to stand up.
- Weakness, numbness, or a hard time moving the leg or foot
Once diagnosed correctly, sciatica can be alleviated in a variety of ways by chiropractors and their professional team of specialists through muscular, myofascial, and skeletal manipulations. By adding in alternative modalities such as heat, cryotherapy, and therapeutic exercises, the overall treatment plan can be more successful in providing long term relief. The following showcases how a chiropractor near you can help with sciatica.
Accurate Diagnosis of Sciatica
With comprehensive up-front exams, chiropractors work to understand your total-body health and wellness environment so that they can create an effective treatment plan. By getting to know your daily habits, physical activity levels, and health history they gain an understanding of what may have caused the onset of sciatica. Through a physical assessment they work with you to identify the underlying issue, communicate their findings, and address your sciatic nerve pain in the most appropriate way. With an accurate diagnosis, chiropractic work helps facilitate your body to heal itself with drug-free, non-invasive (non-surgical) treatments.
Over the last decade, studies in the Spine Journal have found that chiropractic manipulations (adjustments) helped relieve pain due to acute back pain and that 60% of sciatica patients, who hadn’t found relief from other therapies, experienced the same level of relief from chiropractic adjustments as patients who eventually had surgery.
With that in mind, chiropractors have the ability to skillfully restore misaligned vertebrae and address herniated discs that are putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. The adjustments can lessen pain associated with the compression, ease muscle spasms, promote nerve function once things are realigned, and give patients progressive mobility as their bodies continue to heal. Depending on your level of discomfort and the specific impingement, a chiropractor can apply anything from a gentle pressure to a more rigorous adjustment to help give you long term relief.
Particular movement can help or hurt someone with sciatica, thus it is best to work with a professional when determining exactly what to do. Your chiropractor will know which exercises to avoid so that your sciatic nerve isn’t further aggravated. He/she will also know which exercises help in your particular situation so that your body can heal in a restorative and balanced way.
Heat & Cryotherapy
Alternating heat applications and cryotherapy (cold therapy) have been used by chiropractors for years to help alleviate sciatic pain. When the lower back, buttocks, hip, or lower extremities are tight, heat softens the musculature and brings more blood flow to the area, which encourages healing. Cryotherapy, on the other hand, helps reduce inflammation and causes vasoconstriction so that the blood moves away from the injured area. Your chiropractor will know which treatment is suitable for you, whether to use both and how often to alternate between them for optimal results.
Chiropractic Traction Therapy
One potential cause of sciatica is spinal compression, whereby the discs positioned between the vertebrae naturally become thinner and begin to pinch the nerves. Chiropractors can use traction to stretch, realign, and give more space within the vertebral column to alleviate the affected nerves. The purpose of these techniques is to reverse the natural effects gravity has on the spine and aid in realignment post an injury or accident.
Find a Chiropractor for Sciatica
Chiropractors pay a great deal of attention to the structure and function of the spine, as well as its effects on the neurological and musculoskeletal systems. They help the body restore proper mobility and function through safe, controlled, and specific forces applied to the joints or muscles, as well as a variety of other supportive chiropractic therapies. Common treatments include non-invasive soft-tissue work, myofascial manipulations, heat, cryotherapy, decompression, traction, adjustments, and exercises or stretches that will help the body heal.
Minimize and manage your sciatic pain with the help of a chiropractor. Their expertise and guidance will help restore function and alleviate your sciatic pain so that you experience short and long term results. Make an appointment to start your wellness plan today, or read this patient success story for a first-hand account of what chiropractic work can do for you.